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Newt Gingrich Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of former House speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.


Birth date: June 17, 1943

Birth place: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Birth name: Newton Leroy McPherson; adopted at a young age by stepfather Robert Gingrich and took his last name

Father: Newton C. McPherson, mechanic

Mother: Kathleen (Daugherty) McPherson Gingrich

Marriages: Callista (Bisek) Gingrich, (August 18, 2000-present); Marianne (Ginther) Gingrich, (August 8, 1981-April 6, 2000, divorced); Jackie (Battley) Gingrich (June 19, 1962-February 1981, divorced)

Children: with Jackie (Battley) Gingrich: Jacqueline, 1966; Linda Kathleen “Kathy,” 1963

Education: Emory University, B.A., 1965; Tulane University, M.A., 1968; Tulane University, Ph.D. in European History, 1971

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts

Is the first speaker of the House to be punished by the House for ethics violations, on January 21, 1997.

Is the first former speaker of the House to become a television news commentator, when he is hired by Fox News in October 1999.

Has written more than 20 books.

His first wife, Jackie, was his former high school geometry teacher.

The LGBT activist, Candace Gingrich-Jones, is his half-sister.

Callista Bisek, 23 years Newt’s junior, was a House of Representatives staff member who engaged in an affair with Gingrich. Eight months after leaving office and four months after his second divorce, she became his third wife.


1968 – Works with Nelson Rockefeller’s presidential campaign.

1970-1978 – Assistant history professor at West Georgia College.

1974 and 1976 – Makes unsuccessful runs for a congressional seat from the 6th District of Georgia.

1979-1999 – Represents the 6th District of Georgia as a Republican in the US House of Representatives.

1986 – Becomes chairman of GOPAC, a political action committee formed in 1979 to support Republican candidates for state and local offices.

1988 – Brings ethics violation charges against Speaker of the House Jim Wright (D-Texas) on questionable financial dealings.

March 22, 1989 – Becomes House minority whip by a vote of 87-85.

April 17, 1989 – After a 10-month investigation, a House ethics committee unanimously charges Wright with 69 counts of financial impropriety. Wright’s resignation would come within weeks, vindicating Gingrich and raising his profile and popularity.

October 5, 1990 – Leads 105 Republicans against a proposed budget package that has bipartisan support; the package is not passed.

September 27, 1994 – Gingrich and more than 300 fellow Republicans sign the “Contract with America” in front of the US Capitol building. The contract is a manifesto of conservative and populist policy provisions — including tax cuts, the streamlining of government and congressional term limits.

November 8, 1994 – Republicans gain 54 seats in the US House, taking control for the first time since 1955.

December 31, 1994 – Announces he will return a $4.5 million book advance after its appropriateness is questioned.

1995-1999 – Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

December 25, 1995 – Is named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.”

December 21, 1996 – A House investigative subcommittee finds Gingrich violated House rules when he wrongly used tax-exempt funds to teach a college course between 1993 and 1995, which involved GOPAC, a political action committee with which he was once involved.

January 7, 1997 – Narrowly wins re-election as speaker by a vote of 216-209.

January 17, 1997 – After a six-hour hearing where special counsel James M. Cole argues that Gingrich had shown “a disregard and lack of respect for the standards of conduct” of the House, the ethics committee votes 7-1 to send the full House a recommendation that Gingrich be reprimanded and fined $300,000. By being reprimanded, rather than facing the more serious sanction of a censure, Gingrich would be able to remain in the role of House speaker.

January 21, 1997 – Gingrich is assessed costs of $300,000 and formally reprimanded as a result of his using tax-exempt funds to promote Republican causes and lying about it to the House Committee on Ethics. He originally has 84 charges brought against him, but is exonerated of 83 of them.

November 6, 1998 – Announces he will not seek a third term as speaker of the House. His last day is January 6, 1999.

1999-2011 – Founder and leader of the Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm. Ends his involvement with the center before becoming a candidate for president. The Group declares bankruptcy April 5, 2012.

October 27, 1999-May 2011 – Commentator for Fox News.

2003 – Founds the Center of Health Transformation, a public policy group based out of Washington, DC. The organization declares bankruptcy on April 5, 2012.

September 27, 2007 – Founder and chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future, a political think tank. American Solutions for the Future closes its doors in July 2011.

March 2, 2011 – Fox News suspends Gingrich and former congressman Rick Santorum for 60 days. If on May 1, 2011, or before, they do not notify Fox that they are not in the running for US president in the 2012 election, their contracts will be terminated.

March 3, 2011 – Announces the formation of, an exploratory website instead of an exploratory committee, establishing him as a contender for the White House in 2012.

May 5, 2011 – Fox ends its association with Gingrich and Santorum after neither respond by the May 1 deadline regarding their decisions on seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

May 11, 2011 – Announces via Twitter and Facebook that he is in the 2012 presidential race, “I have been humbled by all the encouragement you have given me to run. Thank you for your support.”

June 9, 2011 – Gingrich’s campaign manager Rob Johnson resigns, along with 15 other Gingrich campaign aides.

July 6, 2011 – News media reports the Gingrich campaign is $1 million in debt and has $225,000 in the bank.

September 29, 2011 – Gingrich unveils the “21st Century Contract with America,” a revised version of his 1994 “Contract with America.”

January 19, 2012 – Releases his 2010 federal income tax return.

January 23, 2012 – Gingrich’s former consulting firm releases its 2006 contract with Freddie Mac, wherein it was paid $25,000 a month.

May 2, 2012 – Announces he is suspending his presidential campaign.

September 9, 2013 – Gingrich’s debut on CNN’s Crossfire, with S.E. Cupp, Stephanie Cutter and Van Jones.

October 2015 – Rejoins Fox News as a political contributor.

July 12, 2016 – Fox News suspends its ties with Gingrich, one of the people on presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump‘s vice presidential short list. According to Fox’s executive vice president for news, Jay Wallace, “Due to the intense media speculation about Gingrich’s potential selection as Donald Trump’s vice presidential candidate, we felt it best to halt his contributor role on the network to avoid all conflicts of interest that may arise.”

June 5, 2018 – His book “Trump’s America: The Truth about Our Nation’s Great Comeback” is published.

April 30, 2019 – Gringrich’s book “Collusion: A Novel” is published.

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